I just got news that JD has received
care package #5 both care package #5 and #6…plus one from his mama. All in one day! I await the pictures but he says everything held up, even the cupcakes. Awesome. #5 was the pound cakes et. al. and #6 was the cupcakes and stuffed cookies. This is great news after so long with no mail.
In fact, after receiving 3 packages in one day, JD wrote to me:
“The joke this morning was whether they should bring in a Christmas tree and put all my stuff under it.”
But I still wonder…where are #3 (“coffee break” biscotti, magazines, iced coffee, drink crystals?) and #4 (snickerdoodle cookies, travel guide, etc.)? I suspect they may still be on base among the 37 shipping pallets of mail and he will just have to keep checking with the postmaster every day (I assume it’s a postmaster, it seems the only title befitting a post-person in that environment).
Package #7 involved the first “repeat” of baked goods, namely Skor brownies. I used Pam Anderson’s recipe for Fudgy, Chewy, Cakey Brownies from her book The Perfect Recipe (posted here). The recipe specifies you can add 3/4 cup of nuts. I interpret this to mean 1 bag of skor chips. Delicious! JD asked for these again after they arrived so “moist and perfect” the first time.
Put a shiny foil wrapper on something…it will be “premium”!
The hardest part of making these brownies is melting the chocolate and butter over a double boiler. Don’t melt in in the microwave, please – chocolate burns easily in the microwave. A double-boiler is simply when you but a saucepan of water on to simmer and put a metal bowl over it.
Get your biggest knife out for chopping chocolate, it will make life more enjoyable and stress-free!
Once chopped, begin your melting.
The rest is easy – and no need for an electric mixer, it’s the best!
I always line my pan with tinfoil. Make sure you leave an overhang so it can act as handles to life the brownies out. So. Much. Less. Mess.
Remember to TAKE YOUR BROWNIES OUT EARLY! At LEAST 5 minutes early.. they should be set, but just barely and the middle will still be a bit wobbly. Let them cool for several hours, they will also set this way.
Here is how I package brownies:
- Cut brownies into smallish squares. The middle may be too soft too use, eat it with ice cream later as a reward.
- Wrap brownies in a double layer of paper towel or paper napkins.
- Wrap that in a double layer of tin foil, making sure they are well covered.
- Place your rectangular tin-foil wrapped packaged into a large freezer bag, squeeze out air and seal.
Now, I claimed to have invented a cookie, right? Well I did. At least a combination. I was thinking of things JD would like – he is kind of an old man on the inside and he loves molasses. He even loves reading about molasses. This was an appearling idea but it occurred to me that a molasses cookie would be a bit heavy/spicy in the heat. Then I got the idea to bake it into another cookie. I made a half recipe of my standard sugar cookies as well as a batch of molasses cookies from Joy of Baking.
This does not work the other way around. The sugar cookie actually keeps the molasses cookie from spreading out, resulting in a chewy, yummy middle. The other way around, the molasses cookie becomes too crispy for my taste.
If you’re wondering what cookie cutter I used, it’s the Christmas wreath cutter from my Christmas cookie cutters in Newfoundland. However, you could use any circle or square shapes of varying sizes for this.
When you’re rolling out your dough, make sure to use a LOT of flour on your rolling surface. I mean by the handful. This prevents both sticking and frustration. Also, make sure to roll your dough thick enough so that it yeilds a soft cookie (my ideal baking time was 7 minutes but your mileage may vary).
And, cookie momster. Cookie momster gets up in the middle of the night to eat cookies. In fact, if you make cookies (let’s say oatmeal raisin), cookie momster might not only eat them but steal some for her friends… when you wake up in the morning you will have 50% less cookies!
But that is ok because she is so sweet!
By the way, if you have any ideas for what a sugar-cookie-with-molasses-middle should be called, I’m all ears! I am terrible at naming things… there might even be baked goods in it for you…